In Search of Purple

purpledyeI dye fabric with Procion MX fiber reactive dyes and rely upon consistent dye formulas made by the manufacturers. But if they no longer make a certain dye color or change the formula, then my colorways must change too.

spiceroad

The famous Spice Road.

That is what happened with a purple dye that I used for years dyeing such wonderful colorways as Avocado Squash, Black Orchid, and the famous Spice Road. The search for a replacement purple is on meaning that my threads and fabric colorways will change slightly. Stay tuned. I’ll try to update the colorways in the Artfabrik Store as soon as I can.

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What to Do with Cheesecloth

smallworld7

Small World #7   by Laura Wasilowski

One of the more unusual things I dye is cheesecloth. Lately I’ve been dyeing it for the April IQF Chicago and AQS Paducah shows. You may well ask “how do you use this loosely woven fabric in your fused art work, Laura?” Thank you for asking. I use it for texture. Here you see it as the sun in the sky. Don’t you love that checkered texture?

Here’s how to prepare cheesecloth for fusing:

cheesecloth11. Apply fusible web to one layer of the cheesecloth. I recommend Misty Fuse, a light weight fusible web that won’t clog up the gaps in the cheesecloth with glue as much as other fusible webs. Use parchment paper to transfer the glue to the fabric.

cheesecloth22. After the fabric cools, remove the parchment paper. Place the fabric back on the parchment paper and fold and squish the cheesecloth as much as you want.

cheesecloth33. Apply another piece of parchment paper to the top of the fabric so it is in a sandwich of paper. Fuse the folds in place using a hot iron.

cheesecloth44. After it cools remove the papers from the cheesecloth. cheesecloth5a5. Cut the cheesecloth into shapes or place the whole piece onto another fabric background. Cover it with parchment paper and fuse into place. Isn’t that texture terrific?

You can see all the colors we have in stock at the shows. Give it a try!

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Dyeing Up a Storm!

fabricshelfIt’s been cold and snowy here in Illinois but I’m safely tucked into my basement studio dyeing. This time of year is a good time to catch up on the 63 colorways of fabric I dye for Artfabrik. After its dyed, I have the thrill of ironing yards of fabric while watching bad TV. Happy to say that I’m almost done dyeing and the shelves are packed.

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How to Pick Out Fabrics for Fusing

kitfabrics2

It’s a little know fact (I love that phrase!) that when you pick out fabrics for your next fused art quilt you want to look at the back of the fabric. You are making a raw edge or fused quilt which means you don’t necessarily finish the edges of design elements with stitching.

holeyfabricYou see the edges of the fabric shapes.

blackfabricIf you have a great print on one side, the other side may be almost white. When you cut out an element from that fabric, a white edge will appear around the element. Use hand dyed or batik fabrics. The color goes all the way through the fabric.

It’s a little known fact!

Look at What You Can Do

dianequilt

Pieced quilt by Diane.

Diane made this super quilt with some of my hand dyed fabrics called Parakeet. Isn’t it beautiful! I haven’t made a pieced quilt in years. But when you see work like this, it is so inspiring. Many of you create lovely pieces like Diane’s using my fabric and I’d love to see them. Please send me a picture and I’ll feature you on the blog too.

Thanks, Diane, for sharing your work with us.

Have You Tried Cheese Cloth for Texture?

cheesecloth1One of the fabrics I’ve dyeing lately for the IQF Chicago and AQS Paducah shows is cheesecloth. Yep. Cheesecloth, as in making jam cheesecloth. People often ask how to use it for art work so I’ve made up a short tutorial for you. You’ll love how it adds texture to another fabric. Here’s how:

1. Apply fusible web to one layer of the cheesecloth. I recommend Misty Fuse, a light weight fusible web that won’t clog up the gaps in the cheesecloth with glue as much as other fusible webs. Use parchment paper to transfer the glue to the fabric.

cheesecloth22. After the fabric cools, remove the parchment paper. Place the fabric back on the parchment paper and fold and squish the cheesecloth as much as you want.

cheesecloth3Apply parchment paper to the top of the fabric so it is in a sandwich of parchment paper. Fuse the folds in place using a hot iron.

cheesecloth4After it cools remove the papers from the cheesecloth. Then you can place the cheesecloth onto another fabric background.

cheesecloth5Or you can work directly on the fabric background instead of the parchment paper. Isn’t that texture terrific? We have lots of colors in stock. Give it a try!